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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Repost from FFF.org's Website: The Falling American Empire [Say what? We're an empire? Get out! Really? Says who? Check it out!]

by Anthony Gregory, Posted March 30, 2011

American Empire before the Fall
by Bruce Fein (Campaign for Liberty, 2010); 219 pages.

The very notion that America has an empire is most taboo. No matter the party in power, pointing out the reality of U.S. imperialism rarely wins political points. Our country, land of the free, won independence from the British Empire, defeated the Nazi empire, and stared down the Soviet empire.

"...wonderful,... Bruce Fein, an unusually principled but respected legal expert, an official under Ronald Reagan, and a player in movement conservatism, has penned American Empire before the Fall, an all-out takedown of U.S. foreign policy, drawing on history, economic reasoning, ethical considerations, law, and knowledge of world affairs to strike at the very core of the ideology of American imperialism. Fein notes that for most Americans, the notions he espouses may seem out of left field and explains why:

We, the current citizens of the United States, have all been raised to embrace the American Empire without questioning its premises, just as British subjects more than a century ago viscerally cherished and celebrated the British Empire. The justifications of Empires are characteristically unexamined to conceal an unflattering truth: they are all fueled by a base, animalistic craving to dominate other nations and people for the sake of domination."

On "Historical wars

When did all the trouble begin? Fein celebrates the era 'before the United States began to trade its safe Republic for an unsafe Empire under the mindless banner of Manifest Destiny in the 1846–1848 Mexican-American War.' Citing James K. Polk’s disingenuous accusations of Mexican initiation of hostilities, Fein says the war was 'the first time ... the President would deceive Congress and the American people to justify belligerency.... In truth, the Mexican military killed American soldiers in Mexican territory after the United States waged a campaign of belligerency against Mexico.'”

Click here to go to FFF.org to read this article.

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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database

Key

Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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